An Idea whose Time Has Come? (10/26/14)

We can look back and see that the successful establishment and dissemination of Christianity as a major world religion first required the establishment of the Roman Empire, with its extensive network of roads and its political-economic organization—as well as the use of the Greek koine and Latin language throughout the sprawling realm. Because these crucial mundane factors were in place, the radically un-worldly message of Christianity was able to spread like a redemptive epidemic and to dramatically reorient Western values for about a thousand years.

Have globalization, air travel, 24-hour world news, and the ‘worldwide web’—a culmination of the worldly-materialistic phase that got rolling just prior to the ‘Renaissance’—similarly prepared the ground for yet another spiritual movement that will meaningfully link all human cultures for the first time?

Possibly. One might even go so far as to say ‘probably.’ If the frenetic, ruthlessly competitive predation of the planet’s limited resources continues at its present rate, it won’t be long before a bad situation worsens and exhausting wars and disasters devour humanity. The present course of events and policies must collide with the solid wall that is waiting ahead before a new course can be charted and then followed by the ‘remnants.’ A non-catastrophic scenario, whereby humanity sensibly ‘wakes up’ to its imperiled situation before it’s too late, and voluntarily submits to austerities and relatively draconian measures in order to circumvent that wall, is almost guaranteed not to arise, given the blind determination of the cunning ‘engineers’ who have commandeered the train we’re all on.

Genuine quality (of philosophical thought, of artistic excellence, of moral reasoning and action, of spiritual attainment) is almost invariably produced by human beings that are not boorish, loutish, or representative of ‘mass-mindedness.’ In other words, the coarse ‘mass mind’ (and the collective, quantitative terms and values the masses live by and through) seldom creates or authentically responds to true quality—whether it is understood spiritually, ethically, artistically, or politically.[1] By and large, the architects and exploiters of the present scheme of things know little or nothing of such quality—or, if they do, that mere knowledge is wholly insufficient, on its own, to transform them into courageous, self-sacrificing critics and opponents of the current lowbrow culture. All too often, these delinquent trustees of humanity’s future simply ‘milk’ the system for all it’s worth in order to enhance their own personal wealth, power, pleasure, comfort, etc.

Thus it will, of necessity, typically be a spiritual-philosophical-poetical-political-scientific elite that is responsible for whatever there is of the highest quality and the most enduring cultural value to humanity. It never springs up, as if by magic, out of the mass or from mass-mindedness—any more than sonnets and haiku issue from the mouths of kine and swine. What does all this mean to the ordinary, ‘well-educated’ American or European reader? Alas, it means nothing—or next to nothing.

And yet I will no doubt be denounced as an ‘elitist snob’ for holding such a position—for having bucked my egalitarian indoctrination and finally unearthed the sobering truth about the necessary combination of (fateful) genius and exceptional conditions that is required to produce cultural ideas and works of the highest and noblest rank. Interestingly, those who would dismiss my claim have no difficulty acknowledging the fact that the most precious diamonds are only produced under conditions of excruciating heat and pressure. This is just another instance of how anti-meritocratic, leveling ideals have possessed and deformed the minds of the many—and ‘many of the few,’ at that. But then, materialism (our prevailing metaphysical standpoint) has a natural propensity for leveling, and thereby discrediting, all such qualitative hierarchies—by reducing everything to mere stuff.

I bring up these uncomfortable points not in order to settle a score with naïve idealists (i.e., persons who still entertain untenable notions about the ultimate power of natural human goodness, rational self-restraint, and wisdom), but only to call into question the idea that a spiritual renewal (as it is presently conceived) aims to make life on earth more materially pleasurable and desirable. I ask you, the reader, simply to step back a bit from your busy personal affairs and absorbing commitments for an hour or two—and to look deep within the murky well of your heart and ask yourself: If there is any inherent purpose or higher meaning to human existence, is it likely that it consists in the single-minded pursuit of material goods and pleasures? Can that be all that we are here for?

And if ‘yes’ turns out to be the best or the only answer you can come up with—and you believe that armed competition for these limited goods and pleasures is indeed what our brief and fitful lives are all about—then how are we, as a species, any different from mere beasts, aside from the fact that our greater cleverness has permitted us to carry predation to inconceivable, ultimately self-annihilating lengths? The sky is the limit and enough is never enough. And if this is indeed the way of things—then it follows that life on earth have never been anything but a chamber of horrors for the great majority of human animals who have to struggle incessantly in order merely to survive. And, naturally, if this is indeed the stark and implacable ‘way of things,’ you would be an idiot to slacken off and risk losing your hard-won place or rank in the predatory pack, right? Apparently, a lot hinges on how we answer this question for ourselves—the question of what human life is really all about. Somewhere, deep inside each one of us, the answer we have settled upon is lurking—like a wolf or an angel (or a mixture of both)—behind every one of our thoughts, actions, and decisions. To hear people talk, one would think that philosophy is nothing but an esoteric and feckless pursuit engaged in by eggheads and impractical dreamers. But what could be clearer than the fact that there is nothing so intimately urgent or so far-reaching in its impact upon our lives as the answers we have consciously or unconsciously settled upon—answers, that is, to a handful of basic ethical questions, only one of which I have raised here.

The general indifference and aversion to philosophy seems merely to be an indication that most of us are dimly aware of just how disturbing and disruptive its probing questions are. We are frightened by these questions because we half-consciously recognize their power—once they’ve gotten under our skin and infected our minds—to dissolve all the treasured poppycock, sentimentality, and cant upon which our actual lives are solidly erected. And how many of us are ever prepared to be plunged into the sea of uncertainty and insecurity that a few well-aimed questions will unleash within us?

 

[1] My claim has nothing to do with one’s socio-economic status, origins, or formal education. Individuals who are both responsive to quality and capable of producing works, deeds, and thoughts of superior quality are inwardly compelled to find what they require from their environment—‘by hook or by crook’—in order to realize their ‘qualitative’ potentials. Perhaps in the majority of cases, it is the privations—the lack of educational, monetary, social, and other forms of SUPPORT—that call forth and bring fully to life the potentials for excellence that have been innate in these exceptional souls—from the start.

Wholeness and Time (8/15/17)

If I’m on the right track and supposing that “called or not, the Gods are present,” then the quest for wholeness – or the full unfoldment of the personality – may be somewhat less dependent upon actual or manifest cultural-historical conditions than is commonly assumed. How do I arrive at this view?

In the field of time, or history, the eternal archetypal drama must perforce be enacted in narrative form, as a kind of complex story-line. As a sequence of events, one episode, mood, or character conflict/resolution comes into prominence after another as the archetypes – like the colored bits of glass in the kaleidoscope – continually move into and out of new configurations. The primordial archetypal factors – like the colored chips in the kaleidoscope or the Greek Gods and Goddesses of Olympus – retain their distinctive characters, but the enacted dramas and kaleidoscopic permutations emphasize this and now that mythic situation, color scheme, mood, and set of opportunities/obstacles.

With these helpful analogies in mind, let us return to our original question about the quest for psychological wholeness within the field of space-time – or the present cultural-historical context. Out here on the surface of mundane experience – the flat screen, as it were, upon which the eternal (timeless) archetypal drama is continually being projected – we are granted only a partial, slit-like vision of the whole, since certain aspects are always being emphasized at the expense of others. Thus, our actual birth in space-time – say in prerevolutionary France or postwar America – inserts or embeds us in a particular scene or worldview within a very long play or, if we get stuck, into one frame of a motion picture. If perchance we allow ourselves to become too comfortably adapted or attached to that particular scene or frozen movie frame, all our little psychic tendrils groping for wholeness will gradually wither and die. To become fully invested in and stubbornly attached to one’s “day and age” – one’s particular cultural-historical setting – is to become a conscripted servant or slave to those particular limited terms, conditions, and role requirements. This would seem to be a rough description, now as ever, of upwards of 95% of humanity.

If we are denied the freedom to literally teleport or catapult ourselves into earlier or future eras and cultures – in our quest for an experience of the full drama underway in space-time via archetypal projection through humanity – we are not forcibly prevented from vicariously experiencing other “scenes,” stages, worldviews, aeons, etc., imaginally.

It will be apparent, then, to some readers that our incremental advances towards psychological wholeness will be dependent in large part upon our ability to loosen up the mental straitjackets and manacles that confine us to our limited/limiting scene – our day and age, our inherited worldview – so that we may regard our situation from fresh and different perspectives. Thus we are continually extricating ourselves from Plato’s cave, striving to get a glimpse or two of the drama as a whole – from start to restart, from soup to nuts! There can be no vision quest that is more comprehensive or demanding.

In my kaleidoscope analogy, a reversion or archetypal reduction process corresponds with attending primarily to the turning, reconfiguring colored ships that are the source of all the particular images appearing at the far end of the kaleidoscope through the peephole. Practically speaking, this is achieved by immersing ourselves in ongoing researches into mythology, history, comparative religion, philosophy, the visual arts, world literature, depth psychology, and other disciplines in and by means of which we are granted glimpses of these archetypal figures and motifs.

There are two points I want to get across here: 1.) The development of the individual towards wholeness is significantly but by no means exclusively dependent upon the prevailing cultural opportunities, collective preoccupations, and other outer factors – but has as much or more to do with the inner work involved in germinating those seed-potentials (for wholeness) within the psyche and tending to their growth. 2.) The distinctive seed-potentials, along with the peculiar cultural-political soil into which we are born, do not – by themselves – make us into conscious, whole personalities. Together they comprise the “original state” or “prima materia” with which we began our artful work.

If we look, say, at a hundred persons who receive the same splendid formal education and upbringing or thousand persons born with the same balanced, auspicious horoscope, we will find that perhaps one or two from both groups will make extraordinary use of these exceptional, given conditions, while the majority will have un-exceptional success. And conversely, a minority among those born into palpably adverse conditions will – precisely in their creative/heroic response to these hurdles and adversities – be spurred on to achievements that would otherwise lie beyond their grasp. What is being singled out for emphasis, of course, is the role played by our individual effort, imagination, and ingenuity in the alchemical-transformative process we are engaged in here.

Mere mimesis – or adaptive inculcation and imitation of given, prevalent cultural forms, values, and directives –serves only as a point of departure for the individuation process. If we get stuck there, the process of inner growth and differentiation comes to a halt. Naturally, such compliant and obedient adaptation and conscription into the prevalent system is always being encouraged by those who profit (materially, politically, socially, etc.) from such systems and schemes. As compliant servants – say, to an unscrupulous, profit-driven corporation or a reactionary political party – we may “gain the world and lose our souls.”

That being said, unless we initially adapt to and gain an “insider” understanding, as it were, of the scheme, system, or “day and age” into which fate has dropped us, we will thereafter be hampered in our most strenuous efforts to move beyond this preliminary level of acculturation. The more clearly and thoroughly we see and understand our limited and limiting beginnings – i.e., our peculiar insertion point into time-space – the greater will be our success, later, when it becomes necessary to push off from that first platform into terra incognita. If our understanding of our early formation and stamping is dim and sketchy, our attempts, later, to differentiate our consciousness from these horizons will be correspondingly sketchy and ineffectual. The platform against which we push will feel mushy and flimsy, giving way under our feet.

On Edinger’s “The New God-Image” (4/4/11)

I will begin this entry by confessing that the Edward Edinger book (The New God-Image) is stirring up powerful feelings ‘below deck.’ I am currently re-reading the middle chapter on ‘The Paradoxical God,’ in which the problematic coexistence of good and evil—or light and dark elements—is attributed to God, along with unconsciousness! These ideas strain even the most fertile imagination and test one’s spiritual courage as few ideas can. They are beyond our ‘Christianized’ ken, while at the same time, the attitude we assume towards these perplexing questions would seem to have profound implications for us, psychologically. And even if we ignore or pay grudging respect to these questions—or never adequately register them so that we can, in turn, be infected or stung by their disturbing power—they will still be there lurking like cancer cells in the unconscious. Of course, as long as they are lurking murkily in the unconscious their power to darken and cripple our journey through life is only that much greater because, in that case, they’re operating ‘behind our back.’ Perhaps most of us will never arrive at the point (of conscious appreciation of these profound religious riddles) ever to recognize what has been eating away, like a corrosive acid, at our insides.

But if, like Jacob, we wrestle with ‘God’—if, that is to say, we surrender to these searing questions which implicate us not only in God’s coming-to-be-conscious, but in the dangerous work of harmoniously reconciling cosmic good and evil—we may emerge with a serious limp, but also as walking and talking contributors to the founding of the way ahead. For me—because of what I now so strongly suspect—opting out of the wrestling match is no longer a viable option.

So where does my own anxiety and inner turmoil come from when I read from Edinger and from the uncharacteristically direct passages from Jung’s letters, where he seems to be very much out on a limb by himself—making connections, speculating, creating a new way to imagine deity?

Part of the anxiety stems from the central notion that God is not ‘perfect’ (nor as capable of looking out for us, like a good Daddy, as many of us were brought up to believe since childhood), but should perhaps be regarded as a ‘work in progress.’ To seriously entertain this notion—which, for me, means getting inside of it and inhabiting it like one might dwell inside a myth or story—is to suffer the most intense deprivation of metaphysical comfort conceivable, for it injects the God-image with a stronger dose of chaotic indeterminacy than of stabilizing cosmos. To be sure, Jung is willing to concede a latent meaning behind this work in progress, which is certainly preferable to a stance wherein no such latent meaning suffuses our experience of existence. But because of where present-day humanity is situated, historically and psychologically, the consolation offered by this idea of latent meaning gradually becoming manifest over the next few centuries is not quite consolation of the deepest and most gratifying sort. If the integration of the ‘Cosmic’ shadow—or the reconciliation of the split halves of good (love) and evil (naked will to power)—does actually take place over the next few troubled and disaster-marked centuries, none of us alive today (who are supposed to draw consolation from this possibility) will be around to enjoy the benefits of such a ‘healed’ split. As for the rest: well, they are left to feed like scavengers upon the rotting corpse of the dead ‘God-image.’

Another cause for inner unrest lies in the (psychological) fact that in pursuing the questions and themes of absorbing interest to me since I was young, I have—nolens volens—become conscripted into this unfinishable project that, as Jung rightly said, consists of ‘endless approximations.’ And as I have noted many times before, the deeper into this work I descend, the more alone I feel since few are seized and caught by this strange and strangely consuming task. How many authentic practitioners of alchemy were there? Because I have the compelling sense that this work and this path are my fate—and therefore cannot be forsaken or abandoned without inviting terrible guilt (the guilt of having betrayed or neglected one’s calling)—I naturally want for my life and my work to contribute something of substantial value to others after I’m gone. And yet, what I have to offer is so very different from the more solid and readily acknowledged contributions made by those talented and creative persons who serve men as they are now. I do not seem to be serving man as he now is—do I? And it’s doubtful that I ever will. My inner sights seem to be trained upon the way ahead—the way beyond the fragmented, decomposing culture I have already diagnosed and painfully come to terms with over the years.

Two Worlds (8/25/13)

In all honesty, I cannot say that, after nearly sixty years of living among other human beings on this apparently privileged planet, I have ‘settled into’ life. This is perhaps why the Gnostic vision of a ‘fallen world’ ruled by a deceitful demiurge speaks so powerfully to me. Not infrequently, I feel ‘at odds’ with my human existence and with the world I seem to be awkwardly and precariously embedded in. I can honestly say that I feel ‘in it but not of it.’ I have tried—but only occasionally and fleetingly succeeded—to feel completely like an earthling, but it is far more natural for me to feel like an alien interloper or a transiting voyeur butting into the affairs of this world. One of my friends charges me with being a misanthrope. I would never characterize myself as a hater of men—but I will admit to frequently feeling myself a stranger to them, which is a different matter altogether.

It seems to me that if my deepest and most powerful needs were typically human, then the peculiar disappointments and the alienation that I have experienced would either have crushed my spirit or embittered me to the point that misanthropy would be an unavoidable result. Because neither of these outcomes has occurred, I am now inclined to suspect that my deepest and most powerful needs point some distance beyond the human, all-too-human level, or its typical form of existence. As strange as this must sound to utterly earthly ears, it seems to be true for me. I would go further and say that if these ‘supra-human’ needs were not being met—in the modest, intermittent manner that they are met—I would probably have turned out very badly indeed.

Another way of analyzing this whole situation is to begin from the assumption that there are (at least) two more or less differentiated psychic standpoints—or distinct centers of gravity—from which I am able to function: the human and the daimonic (or spiritual). The latter standpoint is the one that has few or no essential human needs—but instead, yearns for spiritual nourishment that simply cannot be provided (at least not directly or abundantly) from the mundane or human, all-too-human realm. Now, to the extent that my own consciousness has succeeded in differentiating itself from the merely human—and has begun to participate in the subtler, colder, starker regions of the daimonic—the merely human has begun to seem comparatively sticky, boring, bulky, sluggish, scripted, and heavy. And yet, while I’m here on this ‘third stone from the sun,’ the only sane course to take seems to be that of a dialectical balancing act between the two rather different standpoints. My psychological/spiritual conscience tells me that I should strive for a state of creative tension between them—and resist exclusive citizenship in either realm.

Borderlands (6/24/16)

Might we attempt with our imaginations to view the human person, as such, with a divine – or, shall we say “Olympian” – sense of humor that is neither maliciously mocking and derisive (after the fashion of some modern absurdists and deconstructionists) nor with implicit, categorical disparagement (as certain schools of Indian practice have been doing for centuries)? One thing that both of these camps have set out to do (along with others that I needn’t mention here) is to analyze the human personality down to its elemental nuts and bolts or constitutional ingredients. I recognize the need for such preliminary steps before any genuine progress can be made along the somewhat different lines I am proposing. What I am after, though, is something more than a mere THEORY or explanatory scheme. I am all for entertaining various theoretical elements or suppositions, but these must certainly not be etched in stone. Perhaps, on the contrary, they will appear to be written in water or sand on a windy day – or cloud-like in their ephemerality and puffy provisionality. What I’m after is not so much a solid stance or a firm attitude but a fluid kind of counterpoint or complementarity towards an ever-metamorphosing field (or gestalt) of complex phenomena. There is no sitting still, for long, upon or within the sea, and there is indeed something fundamentally oceanic about this fluid, ongoing dance – or is it a kind of mysterious copulation? – between the observer and the observed. And regardless of whether there is penetration or not, this divinely humorous dance is indisputably a tango, whether or not both partners are aware of the fact.

Cutting to the chase, let me say that what imbues this “morphing perspective” with the epithet “divine” is our developed capacity to see the person essentially in the transpersonal terms of energy constellations and interrelationships. What, then, allows the sense of humor to enter the mix? I would suggest that this depends primarily upon our ability to break the hard nutshell that protects the sacrosanct feeling of personal importance and inviolability. Not a nut easily cracked, to be sure, but the most important one for our present purposes, nevertheless. For those who have been reading “between the lines” it is already evident that there is indeed something “inhuman” about the enterprise we are embarking upon here. It stands to reason that the human, as such, can only be viewed (or experienced) in its naked entirety from a psychic position that is somehow extra-human, supra-human, or in-human. At this point, I suspect only the most monstrously curious reader is still genuinely gripped or intrigued by the experiment proposed here. All those for whom such a “view” is too dizzying, or incomprehensible, or constitutionally repellent have said to themselves, “Now he has gone too far! I’ll have no more of this rubbish.”

For those, then, who are still with me I wish to suggest a potentially helpful paradox. The key to breaking the nut and releasing the “sense of humor” hidden within is to learn to see life from the vantage point of “death.” It is only from the stillness and silence of the motionless center – or eye of the hurricane that life is – that the fundamental angst of human consciousness can at last be dissolved and transcended. So long as the silent (death-like but vital) stillness of the center is unknown or forgotten, our attention will be more or less helplessly enslaved by the swirling, churning maelstrom of life at the periphery. And at the farthest remove from the center, the winds and flying objects are most likely to carry us away and wound us.

Perhaps now it will be understood that I enclosed the word death in “scare quotes” earlier because I was in fact talking about the mask or specter of death. The still, silent, vital center appears death-like, of course, from the immersed and dramatic condition that most of us are engrossed in most of the time. I am referring to the enormous spectrum of possible experiences, passions, and perceptions that are native to consciousness within the pairs of opposites. And if profoundly still, spiritual centeredness looks like death from the ever-shifting perspective of the hurricane-periphery, what do the “persons” (and their consciousness) look like to those quietly planted in the center? Like dreams and dream figures? “Death” and “dreams.” And where is that elusive sense of humor spoken of earlier? It is always within reach just beyond the magnetic/gravitational field of angst – which appears to be mysteriously synonymous with the “human/personal as such.” No wonder such humor has something essentially divine about it.

 

 

Humanity as Membrane between Spirit and Matter: my own interpretation of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (8/27/10—Buenos Aires)

I want to explore the image of humanity as a kind of permeable membrane figuratively ‘positioned’ between spirit and matter—or, if you like, ‘the observer and the observed’—where the human being partakes of both aspects and embodies a new, third thing—soul. Soul, or creative imagination, is born out of this tension between the two parents that give birth to it. When conceived in this way, humanity (as embodiment and carrier of soul and creativity) is absolutely indispensable in the work of creation, not merely its passive witness or obedient subject. (That would be Blake’s ‘natural’ or ‘Fallen’ man.)
 
But there are limits, obviously, to his creative freedom. His creative freedom is exercised within the comparatively stable horizons of what we know as natural laws and principles. These endow humanity with a generous frame within which we may exercise the potentials of our creative freedom. But that freedom, it seems, must be won. It is won by establishing a conscious and trustworthy connection with the spirit, which may be said to rest on one side of the membrane that constitutes the human psyche. This energizing and liberating relationship with the spirit enables us to identify in part with the detached observer, with all the liberating benefits that accompany participation in this perspective. Why is this? From the standpoint of the observer, life itself is little more than a kind of theatrical performance or movie. Or a dream from which the dreamer has awakened. Because life itself—or the world—is seen and felt to be a kind of show or generated illusion, it loses some of its binding power over the person who views this pageant from the perspective of the detached observer. The observer is always aware of him- or her-self as observer and is less subject to becoming completely lost in or absorbed by that which is being observed, felt, and experienced. The observer may want to get lost, or become fully absorbed in that which is observed and felt, but this is not within the purview of the observer, as such. Only a very partial absorption of the witnessing bystander is possible.
 
But what about the observed—or ‘objects’? At bottom, the observed is a kind of screen or blank page such as I am now filling with these words. It is, in effect, ‘nothing’—but a very special sort of nothing insofar as it is capable of receiving the projections of the observer, its correlate and eternal partner in the cosmic construction and demolition business. One may be tempted to suppose that the observed, being nothing in itself, is less than the observer, but we should check that temptation. The observer, without its correlative, the observed (which provides it with a surface upon which it can project its sound and thereby receive an echo, or its image and see a reflection), is nothing, or is aware of nothing, which amounts to the same thing. As active principle, if the observer has no reflection to see and no echo to hear, ‘he’ has nothing upon which to act or to think and so remains asleep, unconscious. If the observed has no image or sound projected upon ‘her,’ her nothingness and uselessness consume and waste her. The observer and the screen arise together and they fall together. Since time begins and ends with them, neither comes first. Neither one is primary. They are two aspects of one and the same entity—an entity which both IS and IS NOT.
 
Memory is the matrix out of which the creative imagination is born—and it is from the creative imagination that experienceable worlds arise. As soon as the primordial Being awakens from what, in Hindu cosmology, is referred to as Mahapralaya (unconsciousness, or ‘the great dissolution’), the observer and his reflection (‘the Two’) come into existence. Something uncanny but entirely predictable happens: the one being, which is now two, asks itself—‘Have I ever been before?’ The very idea that this might be a ‘singularity’—the one and only instance of conscious being—is unthinkable to it because of the enormous weight of the responsibility attached to such a terrifying thought.
 
To comfort itself, the one being searches its blank memory for clues to its previous existences. But such clues are not readily forthcoming. What it does receive are the vaguest cloud-like forms that strain its untested powers of fantasy and yearning. It yearns for something—anything—to capture and hold its gathering attention. As far as it ‘knows’ anything, it feels itself to be alone, and alone without sleep or interruption—for eternity—since time as we know it does not yet exist. The thought of being alone and with no one and nothing to attend to for eternity makes the one being experience something akin to a vague anxiety. There is nothing external to it that can really threaten it or weaken it, but neither is there any existing other thing that can help it, entertain it, or console it. Out of its memory, which is actually just its present awareness cast backwards into an imagined past, it digs for hints and clues to guide and direct it into a story that will unfold into a future.
 
Thus, these fantasy-generated memories become the membrane I spoke of earlier—the psyche or soul which is interposed, as it were, between the observer and his correlative, the reflective screen that invites projection. The membrane gradually evolves into something like an actual memory insofar as it begins to capture and retain imagined forms that are generated from the one being’s spontaneous play of creative fantasy. At first, these imagined forms are crude and simple—perhaps like geometric shapes and clusters of discrete points. Gradually, patterns and complementary/conflictual relationships emerge between these simple elements and from these simple patterns and relationships more and more elaborate complexity are gradually differentiated. The one being slowly but surely becomes more and more absorbed in and by his creation, like an engrossed player of solitaire who keeps adding new twists and variants to the initial, simple game in order to make it more and more challenging.

Nisargadatta-Jung: a Vulgar Comparison (9/2/15)

Nisargadatta is like a man who voluntarily has his penis and testicles lopped off—and then tells (anyone who bothers to ask about why he volunteered for such as ghastly procedure) that unless and until they voluntarily do so, too, they are living a big lie and squandering their limited life force.

Carl Jung, on the other hand, is like a man with a massive member and two big sperm-spouting cojones telling anyone who’ll listen that we should “make (meaningful, individuated) hay” while we can, because before you know it, your generative organs will be shriveled and shrunken to everlasting nothingness.

Nisargadatta has opted for parabrahman, thus disbanding the actors and striking the set of the big play. Carl Jung digs up buried gold to provide an endowment for the theater so that the big play can enjoy an indefinitely extended run—and plenty of out of work actors can get back onstage and play their parts with a refreshed sense of meaningfulness and relevance.

Nisargadatta’s is the hard sell, while Jung has growing numbers lining up to get into the theater, even when they don’t know who Jung is.